British FMCG major RB Plc, which owns popular consumer health and hygiene brand Dettol, is “looking at every opportunity” in India to provide its full range of products and the firm is “absolutely committed” to the country, according to the company’s global CEO Laxman Narasimhan.
With consumers and retailers across India facing shortage of Dettol range of products when coronavirus outbreak happened in India, RB has taken steps to ensure that people get access to the disinfectant.”There is a lot of work going there in India. We are absolutely committed to India, we care deeply about India and Dettol is very much a part of the fabric of India,” Narasimhan told PTI.
On a broader perspective, he said, “We will continue to look at opportunities to provide a full range of products to our consumers and the team is looking at every opportunity there, which is out there to ensure that people get the products that they can in the market there.”
RB sells a range of hygiene products in India including Dettol, Lizol, Harpic, while in health it has some popular brands as Disprin and Strepsils. However, some of its global brands such as Cilit Bang, Mucinex and Nurofen are yet to be introduced here in the country.
With the COVID-19 pandemic intensifying, RB had committed 32 million British pounds towards the fight against the spread of virus globally and as part of that, it had announced to distribute 10 million Dettol soaps in India. Besides, it had also announced to donate one million litres of disinfectant products, including Lizol and Harpic, to support public healthcare institutions and the work of frontline health and sanitation workers in many states in India.
Last week, RB had announced the launch of a global initiative to generate high-quality scientific research-based evidence to inform public health recommendations and promote behaviours that improve global hygiene. It had announced a USD 25 million investment in a new Reckitt Global Hygiene Institute to strengthen scientific evidence and achieve behaviour change.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed public health to the top of the global agenda. At RB, we see the need for a new paradigm that brings together the highest quality scientific based evidence and informed public health recommendations to generate large-scale behaviour change for a cleaner, healthier world,” Narasimhan said.
He said in India RB runs campaigns in many of the schools in India “which helps the children understand as how to be hygienic in such sort of environment. We would continue to do so in this pandemic”.
The company is already working on its campaign ‘Dettol Banega Swachh India’ from last five years and now the company recognise that it is important to have evidence on a different tool which one use could protect oneself.
“Also, we need to find a way to communicate in a simple way to drive a behaviour change,” he said adding for that there is a “need for evidence and a need for behavioural insights to drive change in the marketplace”.
According to him, there is a gap between ‘knowing and doing’ and there is a need to bridge the gap and the company is “absolutely working ” to “get the knowledge out there so people can behave differently.